Tuchel handed double injury boost for Chelsea

Date published: Monday 18th October 2021 6:14 - Will Ford

Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger have bolstered Chelsea’s defensive options ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Malmo.

The centre-back pair missed Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Brentford, but were both back in training on Monday.

Experienced centre-back Silva only returned from Brazil duty on Friday afternoon, leaving the 37-year-old short of preparation time for the Brentford trip.

READ MORE: Maguire escapes as Shelvey, Pogba make the weekend’s worst XI

Germany defender Rudiger picked up a minor back issue on national team duty and was forced to sit out the Blues’ gritty win on the road.

Senegal stopper Edouard Mendy pulled off a string of five saves against the Bees in a pivotal showing that helped push Chelsea back to the top of the league.

And now defender Andreas Christensen has lauded the Blues keeper’s stellar form.

“He showed on Saturday he is one of the top keepers in the world, not just the Premier League,” Christensen told Chelsea’s official club website.

“He is a top goalkeeper. You can see how important he is to us, to the team. Yet again we are lucky we have him.

“People can see and recognise what he can do and the quality he has.

“It is hard when you watch him every day because you don’t see the process.

“We just enjoy having him here. He was always a confident goalkeeper when he came in.

“He is very loud on the pitch and a really nice, confident guy off the pitch. He is trying to just help us every time.”

Meanwhile, assistant coach Zsolt Low claims it’s “difficult” to keep the Chelsea players motivated after their Champions League success.

“It’s important to keep Chelsea at that level and improve.

“The summer transfer window has been very good, we have been able to get players that we desperately needed and we can move forward with them.

“After the Champions League win, it is very difficult and challenging for our players to stay motivated, but we are constantly working on this.”

On his role, Low added: “A lot of people are asking me what exactly my role in the team is.

“We do everything together from training, planning to creating the framework, tracking the opposition, analysing our matches.

“We get together in a small group, and we live and work together all the time when we’re at the training ground.

“Also we discuss what we saw during the matches together, we share our experiences together at half-time, we may try to change things.

“The manager always has the last word, but we always discuss the processes together, so I can always have my say on everything.”

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